How I Can Still Exercise With Osteoarthritis
I have osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint condition that causes pain and disability. Exercise is important for people with arthritis because it can help them manage their symptoms, feel better about themselves, and lead more active lives. To understand how I can still exercise with arthritis, we’ll look at what exercise is good for people who have this condition and how I stay active.
My arthritis is in my back and my hands.
If you’re reading this, chances are you have some form of osteoarthritis. It is the most common joint condition in adults over 50 and can affect your fingers, knees and hips – even your jaw!
It is thought that osteoarthritis is caused by wear-and-tear of the joints over time. You might develop the condition if you have:
- been overweight or obese for a long time
- had previous injury to the joint (for example from an accident)
- had family members with osteoarthritis
I had to learn which exercises are best for me.
When you have osteoarthritis, it’s important to know which exercises are good for you and which ones aren’t. The following is a list of exercises that are suitable for people with arthritis:
- Dancing (as long as you change the tempo)
- Meditation (but only if done in a seated position)
- Yoga (the stretching parts, not the holding poses)
First, I had to find the right types of exercises to do.
If you have arthritis, it’s important to find exercises that are gentle and don’t cause pain. If you’re having trouble with a certain exercise, try another one instead. It’s also important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard when exercising with osteoarthritis.
I had to learn how to listen to my body.
I had to learn how to listen to my body. I can’t push myself too hard or do anything that causes pain, so I make sure that the exercise I choose is not too strenuous for me and doesn’t require repetitive motion. For example, if lifting weights or using resistance bands became too difficult, I would stop immediately and try something else until I found an activity that was comfortable for me.
I try to exercise four or five times a week.
You should aim to exercise at least four or five times a week. This has been shown to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis, even if you’re overweight or have no other risk factors.
You’ll also need to make sure you’re active for at least 30 minutes per session. It doesn’t matter how long you do it for—the point is that it should be enough that your body starts to sweat and your muscles feel tired, but not so long that it hurts or exhausts you physically or mentally afterward.
It’s also important that you get some form of regular exercise (like walking) three days per week rather than just one day and then doing nothing else besides sitting down all weekend long!
Swimming is also great.
You can also swim. This is a low impact exercise that can help strengthen your core and upper body, as well as stretch your muscles. Swimming is also a good way to cool down after exercising, and it’s great for relaxing!
There are other benefits of exercise as well as physical ones.
Exercise can help you sleep better, manage stress, feel more confident, happier and energetic. And if you’re like me with OA, then it may also help manage pain.
So how does exercise reduce pain? There are a few different theories about this:
- Exercise releases endorphins which block pain signals from reaching the brain (this is similar to what happens when we feel good after eating chocolate)
- Exercise improves muscle strength around joints which reduces joint movement so therefore reducing pain experienced by overusing the joint – especially during exercise when muscles are working harder than usual (like running)
There is also evidence that exercise can change the way we perceive pain. What do I mean by this? Well if we think about it, when we have a headache or backache we tend not to want to move around much because moving makes these symptoms worse; whereas if our knee hurts after doing some squats at the gym then this encourages us to keep exercising so our knee has less chance of getting worse!
It’s important not to push yourself too hard.
When exercising with osteoarthritis, it’s important not to push yourself too hard. For example, if your joints are sore after a particular session of exercise, then you may need to take a break from that activity for a while until they have time to recover. In the meantime, try doing something else that won’t cause pain in order to keep exercising without experiencing further damage.
It is also important not overdo other aspects of your life when living with osteoarthritis. Don’t try anything new or increase your current level of physical activity beyond what feels comfortable; this can aggravate existing symptoms and lead to unnecessary pain and discomfort. Be mindful of how much energy you’re expending throughout each day—and don’t push yourself beyond those limits!
Arthritis can be painful, but you can still stay active and healthy!
Exercise is especially important if you have osteoarthritis. It can help reduce pain and improve mobility, sleep quality and energy levels.
Exercise is also an important part of preventing weight gain, which can make osteoarthritis worse. If you are overweight or obese before developing arthritis, your risk of developing the condition may be greater than that of someone who is not overweight (BMI 30 kg/m2).
Exercise helps to strengthen bones and muscles by providing resistance to their contraction against gravity while they are being used. The more strength you build through exercise, the more support you will have for your joints when they need to bear weight or withstand force during daily activities like walking or running up stairs.
By being active and staying in shape, I’m able to keep up with my kids. I feel better physically and emotionally, too. Exercise can help you manage arthritis by strengthening muscles and boosting your overall health. It can also help you find ways to be more active in everyday life—like taking walks instead of driving short distances or doing household chores with less pain!